A layer of ice blanketed North Georgia last week. The ice on the trees was beautiful. When the sunlight hit the trees just right, they looked like they were purposefully decorated for a special occasion.
They reminded me of the tinsel my mother used to put on our Christmas tree. It was a gorgeous rare southern winter wonderland . . . on the surface. The trees in the photos above reflect the beauty of ice in winter but if you look just past them, you quickly realize the destructive nature of the beautiful ice.
The photo above only shows a few trees down near our home. The trees fell under the weight of the ice. What you can’t see is the vastness of the destruction. 75% of our county was without power for days. Many of us were without power for more than 60 hours. Since our water supply comes from our well, and the well’s pump froze over, we were without running water for more than 80 hours. Trees blocked major roadways and fell onto homes.
Many of us noted that we had survived tornadoes which left less damage behind. The same ice storm which decorated trees and provided us with the beauty of a winter wonderland also caused destruction and in some cases, the destruction was permanent. Sin often works the same way.
When we think about sin, we think about something ugly as if it is more appalling than appealing. To the growing Christian, sometimes this is true.
As Christ-followers, we do our best to refrain from that which breaks the heart of God. We stay away from the ugly stuff and wonder how in the world Eve fell prey to the influence of a slithery snake.
Some Bible historians have argued that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was a beautiful creature that lured Eve into sin. We don’t know what the serpent looked like but in my opinion, Eve would not have had the same “eeky” feelings toward the creature as I do because sin had not yet entered.
Adam and Eve were living peacefully with the animals in God’s creation. To Eve, the serpent may have been a creature of beauty rather than a threatening evil. But what we do know is what the Bible teaches us in Genesis.
Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. ~ Genesis 1:3
Did you read that? God in all his glory and power had created a creature more cunning than any beast of the field. To me that says this creature may have looked very different to Eve than it might look to me today, but it had the same destructive nature.
Sometimes sin looks appealing, beautiful, stunningly attractive on the outside but its nature is destructive.
We should be careful to recognize sin for what it is and realize the negative impact it has on our lives and the lives of those we love.
Here are several Bible verses about sin:
For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. ~ Romans 3:23
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. ~ Galatians 19-21
My soul is weary with sorrow. Strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways. Be gracious to me through your law. ~ Psalm 119:28-29
Whoever knows the right thing to do but does not do it; it is sin. ~ James 4:17
Spending time in personal Bible Study each day is a good way to keep our hearts guarded against sin.